Novak Djokovic has drawn level with Rafael Nadal with the most grand slam titles of all time in men’s tennis after his straight-sets win over Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open on Sunday.
Djokovic preserved his aura of invincibility on Rod Laver Arena to see off Tsitsipas 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) in a briefly competitive but ultimately anticlimactic championship decider.
The victory drew Djokovic level with Rafael Nadal on the men’s all-time grand slam titles leaderboard and secured the tennis super-Novak a record-extending 10th trophy at Melbourne Park.
The 35-year-old joins 14-time French Open champion Nadal as only the second man to win the same slam on at least 10 occasions.
Fans were quick to notice a not-so-subtle statement Djokovic made during the post-match trophy presentation.
Shortly before being presented with the trophy, Djokovic changed into a white Lacoste jacket that already had the number ‘22’ stitched onto the right-hand side — a nod to his new record.
Nick Kyrgios, who sat out the Australian Open with a knee injury, loved the choice of attire.
“The jacket with 22 on it is elite energy, haha I love it… NEED MORE,” he wrote on Twitter.
Others labeled the move as “savage”.
“That is savage for Novak to have that jacket in the bag ready to go,” one tennis fan wrote.
“To be honest, maybe people won’t believe me, but I had no clue about this jacket,” Djokovic told Eurosport.
“I actually took the other jacket to the ceremony and then my team told me to put this one on — nice of them.”
In addition to the spoils, records, and the $2.975 million winner’s cheque, Djokovic will also return to world No.1 on Monday, for a seventh stint atop the rankings, after once again denying Tsitsipas an elusive maiden major and the chance to scale the summit himself for the first time.
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